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Why Not Live?

something has gone horribly wrong 8-p
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Dramatic and shocking safety film set in the dangerous landscape and roadscape of 1930s America.


This movie is part of the collection: Prelinger Archives

Audio/Visual: sound, b&w
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Creative Commons license: Public Domain


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Reviews
Average Rating: 3.79 out of 5 stars3.79 out of 5 stars3.79 out of 5 stars3.79 out of 5 stars

Reviewer: JayKay49 - 4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars - January 21, 2012
Subject: Some Horrific Scenes
In those days - no seat belts. Those car accidents could easily have been fatal to all occupants. All you could do was "brace yourself."

Nice mid 30's footage.

Reviewer: Steelers - 4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars - June 27, 2008
Subject: We've come a long way
While I do enjoy watching vintage collections, one thing that I kept waiting for in the CPR massage techniques was the victim telling the rescuer to massage a little higher or lower! Ahhhh! That's the spot!

Reviewer: HomeSpecial - 5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars - April 28, 2008
Subject: Red Cross Fan
Around 1989 or so I stayed at the Cathedral Hill Hotel in San Francisco. A fire started at around 7AM in the morning and burned from lobby up to the 4th or 5th floor. All floors were smoked while guests fled to the streets. The Red Cross was there in literally minutes and helped the displaced guests with clothing, emergency aid, shelter at a nearby hotel, and McDonalds breakfast. The Red Cross team really showed excellence in care and response to the emergency and I have been a volunteer for the RC myself since that time. For one thing, I became a free CPR/First Aid trainer. One of my students came to me years later to say that the techniques I taught helped save the life of one of their clients. All this was for free. I was trained for free and I provided training to over 700 people for free (my time). The money students paid the Red Cross was used to help provide disaster relief and further safety training for millions of people around the world.
The Red Cross is an excellent organization. This video while outdated is part of the reason that some of you watching exist today. It served to educate and make people aware of emergencies and simply, to take action. It gets the highest rating for that alone.

Reviewer: Karltonthedoorman - 4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars - April 19, 2008
Subject: These people seem to have a death wish
I received EMT training in the 80s and this film seems to show clearly what not to. Nearly every procedure they showed is something you should not do. I was left scratching my head as to how the "massage" treatment would help a drowning victim. It truly shows how far we have come over time.

Amazing that anyone lived through the "help" they were getting.

Reviewer: Logical - 3.00 out of 5 stars3.00 out of 5 stars3.00 out of 5 stars - July 24, 2007
Subject: Mr. Finger is not a Red Cross Fan
Setting aside for a moment, the fact that the American Red Cross has always been a self-serving organization, more interested in its image and own perpetuation, than in actual public works, the film is not all that bad.

It is stated early-on that legions of Red Cross-trained volunteers around the country, are the vanguards of first aid; that the Red Cross provides training and public-notic signs for autos, businesses, plus compact kits of first aid basics for home and auto, plust larger kits for station-based volunteers, is made clear between the narration and the action shots.

Some of the typical, horrible accidents of that day (and continuing today, just the same) are shown. No gore, but gore is implied. It's about as graphically shown as it can be shown without destroying the intended audiences with (film-induced) medical emergencies.

The electric fan, classic. The pot of boiling water, happens today still. So does the flammable liquid flare-up. So does the carpet-trip and fall. I've seen all these things first hand.

By the film's realistic showings of these every-day lapse-of-common-sense tragedies, it surely did save some people from accident.

It can still do that same work today, but won't, because its views are dated--today's viewers only see the quaint settings and gangster-style cars, costumes and staged effects. They'll concentrate on the staging (necessary for many reasons). Note, for instance, how the first aid rescuers, Mr. and Mrs. John Doe, acted (thanks to their Red Cross first aid trainging)? Note how Mr. Doe took charge, but really, delegated the most important job to Mrs. Doe: Go to the nearest Red Cross first aid station: the volunteering, local Gas Station. There she relayed information. From this interemediate station, the word was sent to the Hospital, from which, the most definitive help was sent. See, the idea is clear: by systematic training, by co-operation of volunteers, first aid assistance in the most serious of remote-location accidents, those so-common one-car accidents on rural roads, could be better served by a one-two-three relay stage of assistance.

Without the Red Cross trainings, without the little kits, the scenario would have been protracted, and more victims die.

Therefore, as lousy as the Red Cross really is, at delivering disaster relief on time, spot on, generously (it's more a money-intake machine, always has been), its nominal efforts to educate the public in the area of first aid, was one time relatively well done by this film. Three stars.

Reviewer: thebrix - 4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars - June 30, 2005
Subject: Odd and rather pointless
Never mind "gratuitous violence" nowadays, the 1930s were bad enough on the evidence of this film. About a dozen accidents are shown - everything from a bad cut from an old-fashioned tin opener to a car being crushed by a steam train - yet what the Red Cross does to help is only shown for two of them! The rest are included, it would seem, simply for titillation.

Also worth looking for are the myriad continuity errors and improbabilities. For example, car somersaults down hill with pieces flying off it but essentially intact, cut away, cut back ... and two bodies are shown neatly lined up beside it ready for the Red Cross to do their bit. Where did they come from?

All in all, a well done but rather pointless film. I expected first aid tips, but there are none.

Reviewer: samontreal - 5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars - June 23, 2005
Subject: Don't criticise
P.S. People shouldn't criticize children for getting into such mishaps. I myself recently let curiosity get the best of me, and stuck my hand into fan blades to see if it would hurt (It didn't) and I'm almost 20!

Reviewer: larrymike - 4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars - June 13, 2005
Subject: Would You Prefer the Living Standards of Jackass?
I really don't understand all the negative jive of films like this when one of the most popular shows in the past decade of Gen-X was Jackass, people doing stupid stuff like jumping off roofs, setting themselves on fire, eating broken glass, and all that other nonsense. Films such as Why Not Live? are hilarious to today's jaded, cynical, and I'm-not-responsible-for-my-actions viewers, but they were meant to be educational. Instead of education people on the dangers around us today, we hype and applaud and reward shows like Jackass, which really shows just how stupid and dangerous people really are. I wonder how viewers of archive.org 70 years from now will judge our great contributions to the world's video library when they view the intellectual pablum of this generation--Jackass.

Reviewer: moretree5 - 2.00 out of 5 stars2.00 out of 5 stars - April 8, 2005
Subject: red cross video
Health and Safety education

Reviewer: moretree5 - 2.00 out of 5 stars2.00 out of 5 stars - April 8, 2005
Subject: red cross video
Health and Safety education

Reviewer: martini66 - 4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars - March 18, 2005
Subject: "WHY NOT KILL YOURSELF?"
Don't do anything, it may be dangerous.
A study into retardation, done very "Little Rascals" style, you'll be waiting for Spanky , Darla and Wheezer to pop up. Worth watching just for the stupidity on display.

Reviewer: martini66 - 4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars - March 18, 2005
Subject: "WHY NOT KILL YOURSELF?"
Don't do anything, it may be dangerous.
A study into retardation, done very "Little Rascals" style, you'll be waiting for Spanky and Darla to pop up. Worth watching just for the stupidity on display.

Reviewer: Ryan Hennessy - 4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars - March 16, 2005
Subject: Ya stupid kids!
Geez, you kids are so stupid. Pulling boiling pots of water off the stove? Putting stuff into fan blades? Setting fire to a box of matches?

And their parents don't seem to be any better! Tripping on rugs and falling down the stairs. Pouring lighter fluid into a stove? Stepping on rattlesnakes?? Carving your hand up with a can opener?! I've never seen somebody drive straight into a lake, or fall out of a canoe so easily. These people are so incredibly accident-prone, it's amazing they lived long enough to make this film. If this is what the American Red Cross calls a "ceaseless fight for humanity," I would love to see their more humorous accidents. And apparently, the only way you can save someone who's nearly drowned is by either giving them a massage or dry-humping them. Funny, funny stuff.

Reviewer: Spuzz - 4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars - February 10, 2005
Subject: What DID you have for lunch?
You would think that this collection of human mishaps would be a Sid Davis production.. But no! This film was produced by The American Red Cross! Priceless accident footage abound here: Cars get hit by trains, go off piers, Guy chopping off his toe, woman falls out of canoe and inexplicably sinks straight down to the bottom of the lake, and of course, the ever-so-common man's foot is run over by a piece of farm machinery. While we wait for the next mallady is concurred up, we find out about the many ways Red Cross can help you get trained to deal with these type of accidents. So, the next time you see a car hit a tree, make sure you have a small Red Cross kit handy to heal up everyone! Highly reccomended!